Harry Manx OnSTAGE Concert
The Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre Society proudly presents Juno nominated Harry Manx for two live shows at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre (VDPAC) on Friday, July 30, 2021, at 5:30pm and 8:00pm.
With the audience seated at tables, cabaret-style, right on the Performing Arts Centre’s main stage, the ever-popular SPOTLIGHT OnSTAGE Concert Series allows for audiences to relax and enjoy a safe, socially distanced concert in a more intimate live performance format.
Multi-instrumentalist and composer Harry Manx has been described as an essential link between the music of the East and the music of the West. He fuses traditional blues with classic Indian ragas to create a distinctive sound.
Manx, primarily a guitarist who also plays harmonica and banjo, was born on the Isle of Man and moved with his family to Canada. He left home in his teens to live in Europe, Japan, India, and Brazil, carefully perfecting his compelling live show on the streets and in cafes and bars before later breaking out to music festivals. Blues music capture his attention when he was still in his teens and he did some roadie work for Willie Dixon, John Hammond, and others. He hit the road hard in Europe, booking himself wherever and whenever he could, as a solo act playing banjo, harmonica and guitar.
He moved to Japan and spent the latter half of the ’80s performing there. In Japan, he discovered the music of Vishwa Mohan Bhatt and left Japan for India. In 1992, he introduced himself to Bhatt and spent the next five years under his tutelage, learning to play Bhatt’s creation, the 20-string Mohan veena. The high point of his time as Bhatt’s apprentice was performing with him at a concert for several thousand people at the Taj Mahal. At that time, Bhatt was well known in India, but several years later, he’d be discovered by some American audiences with his 1994 Grammy Award-winning recording with Ry Cooder, “Meeting by the River.” The only other musician to have mastered the complex Mohan veena was the late Beatle George Harrison.
Although based in Canada for years, he traveled from India to his wife’s home country, Brazil, and played his unique blend of American and Indian “blues” music in the bars and cafes around Sao Paulo. He returned to Canada in 2000 and quickly recorded a demo, which became his debut album for Northern Blues Music, Dog My Cat. After hearing Manx perform at a conference of the North American Folk Music and Dance Alliance, executives at Northern Blues Music signed him.
Manx’s debut album was immediately recognized by the cognoscenti in Toronto’s blues scene, and he was nominated for two Maple Blues Awards, for Best Acoustic Act and Best Recording in 2001. Manx quickly followed up with his 2002 release for Northern Blues Music, Wise and Otherwise, which he recorded in the space of a day. Manx’s sophomore effort won a Canadian Independent Music Award for “Blues Album of the Year” and drew him critical praise, his stylings were compared with those of Kelly Joe Phelps and Ry Cooder. In 2003, he released Jubilee — again on Northern Blues Music — a collaboration with sought-after recording session maven Kevin Breit. His most recent original release, “Om Suite Ohm” was voted by the Montreal daily La Presse as one of only 4 CDs to watch for in 2013. Guitar Player Magazine called it “his most fully realized work to date”. Blend Indian folk melodies with slide guitar blues, add a sprinkle of gospel and throw in some compelling grooves. It’s a recipe that goes down easy and leaves you hungry for more.
Manx is scheduled for a UK tour in November 2021 after a successful tour of Salt Spring Island, Oliver and Revelstoke.
Tickets for Harry Manx are $80 for a table of two, $150 for a table of four and $210 for a table of 6, and can be purchased now through the Ticket Seller Box Office by calling 549-SHOW (7469) or online at www.ticketseller.ca.